Wednesday 23 December 2020

WASPA trophies for Brian Pearson, Clifford Graaff and Alan Lee

Here is a brief summary of some small events held under WASPA banner in Australia, South Africa and England.

In Australia the Perth club had a great turnout with 7 players attending the monthly tournament. The local group was happy to see Mick DeVincentis playing his first tournament. Brian Pearson won the event while Alan Kimber was runner-up.

Final table:

1. Brian Pearson 16
2. Alan Kimber 14
3. Hugh Best 11
4. Chris Thorn 7
5. Noel Mani 4
6. Ron Byrne 3
7. Mick DeVincentis 2

Small turnout @ ETS Subbuteo Club for year-end Christmas Cup

Thursday the 17th of December saw ETS Subbuteo Club host their firs ever Christmas Cup which also brought the curtain down on a very successful inaugural season for the newest Subbuteo club in South Africa.

Unfortunately the large turnout was reduced because of various reasons and also the one important nagging fact of this ravaged year called Chinese Covid.

However the three participating players, played a double round against each other with the player ending on top of the standings being crowned as ETS Christmas Cup champion.

The tournament started off with ETS co-founder, Carl Bolweg producing a great equalizing goal just before full-time to snatch a well deserved draw against favourite Clifford Graaff.

Angus Begg and Carl the produced a thrill-a-minute goalless draw in the second game.

Clifford then beat Angus by a solitary goal to record the first three pointer of the evening.

Clifford followed up his victory over Angus by producing a clinical display to score a two nil victory of Carl and place himself top of the standings.

Carl and Angus then produced the game of the evening in a thrilling score draw. Angus got the game off to a scintillating start by laying siege to Carl's goal.

This constant pressure paid off when he blasted a great goal from an acute angle to take the lead. This goal spurred Carl on and some neat inter-play in the midfield resulted in Carl scoring a great chip from just inside the area to set up a pressure filled last few minutes. Play ping ponged from either goal and Angus had a great opportunity at the death only to see his shot canon wide of the goal with only the keeper to beat.

Clifford and Angus squared off in the last game and even though Clifford created some scoring opportunities his final touch let him down and the game ended goalless. This resulted in Clifford claiming the inaugural Christmas title at ETS Subbuteo Club. 

Unfortunately co-founder Jason Kennedy could not attend as he was busy at work.

Speaking on behalf of ETS Subbuteo Club, Carl said that they were very happy with their first season which saw them host three tournaments, two official WASPA sanctioned events and set up a strong base for 2021 which hopefully will prove to be free of the cursed Chinese Covid epidemic. Him, and everybody associated with ETS Subbuteo Club would like to wish everybody a very blessed Christmas and prosperous New Year.

Final table:

1. Clifford Graaff 8 points
2. Angus Begg 3 (-1)
3. Carl Bolweg 3 (-2)

East Lancashire players back in action

Finally, the East Lancashire club had a great night with six players competing in a round robin. Alan Lee won his five games to win the small event. 

The club was also happy to announce the signing of their 14th member, Anthony Culshaw. Welcome Anthony!

Final standings:

1. Alan Lee 15
2. Nick Pearson 12
3. Chris Bedford 9
4. Shawn Dunne 4
5. Gavin Roper 4
6. Rob Wilkinson 0

Wednesday 16 December 2020

Clifford takes the Father Christmas Trophy

Sunday the 12th of December saw the Johannesburg TFC aka 'The Joburg Eagles' host their last Subbuteo tournament for 2020 in a year that was decimated due to the Chinese Covid 19 Flu.

A field of 10 participants took part to see who could claim the 'Subbuteo Father Christmas Trophy'. Jason Kennedy, chairman of the ETS Subbuteo Club, brough 4 youngsters (all under 12) to participate in the Junior Christmas Challenge. Twins, Nicholas and Daniel Kassner, both in their maiden Subbuteo Tournament proved superior over a strong challenge by the young girls, Jorja and Hannah. Nicholas proved to be the worthy winner by claiming two victories and a draw to claim the junior laurels, followed by his twin brother Daniel, and closely followed by Jorja and Hannah.

The juniors, along with newbies Gavin and Brian, then took part in the Senior Christmas Challenge along with seasoned players Sean, Clifford, Jason and Carl. 

In accordance with the long standing ethos of the Joburg Eagles, when senior players play against the juniors, it takes the form of a training class and the senior players assist and impart tips and hints on Subbuteo play. Suffice to say that there is also an UNWRITTEN rule that NO senior will score more than three goals against our juniors. The Eagles are also proud to say that the latter also applies to novice seniors playing in ALL our tournaments. Fun and enjoyment are the main ingredients and this leads to enjoyment by ALL the players. Pre-tournament favourite and 3rd seeded in the November WASPA world rankings, Sean Morgan and Jason Kennedy, easily qualified from Group A , along with Clifford Graaff and Carl Bolweg.

The semi-finals probably saw the game of the season when Clifford came up against an in-form Jason Kennedy. Clifford took an early lead via a defensive mistake by Jason. However the last two minutes proved why we all love this game so very much. Jason broke down the right and overplayed a ball into the shooting area leaving the only player with any hope of a clear sight way back in his own half of the field. However we all know that this does NOT deter Jason!!! He launched his player that brilliantly connected the ball, on the corner of the penalty box, and produced a replica that 'Hot Shot Hamish' would've been proud of to send the ball past a bewildered Clifford much to the delight of all present. Clifford, from the resultant kick-off broke down the right and some close control touches enabled him to fire a shot that sneaked in at the near post and score an unlikely winner with TWO seconds left on the timer. Clifford admitted after the game that the equalizing goal by Jason ranks as the best goal he has ever conceded. 

The second semi saw an in form Sean lay down the gauntlet with a near perfect display and beat an ever improving Carl by three goals to nil.

As a curtain-raiser to the Final, Fason and Carl flicked off in the Third/Fourth Place Play-off with Jason securing yet another 3rd Place in a WASPA Tournament with a clinical two nil triumph. The Final pitted good friends and adversaries Sean and Clifford against each other in yet another Final.

Sean grabbed the early iniative, however Clifford came back strong towards the end of the game. However, the Final ended in a goalless stalemate, and the dreaded penalty shoot-out followed.

Sean won the toss and bravely chose to shoot first. This seemed a great idea as his first flick produced a great chip from out wide to see the ball nestle in the top corner of the goal. 1 Nil to Sean.

With the pressure on Clifford, he replicated Sean's great strike and neatly chipped the ball over Seans keeper to equalize. 1 All.

Sean once again produced a great second penalty with a trade mark chip to take a vital lead. 2 - 1 to Sean. With the pressure on Clifford to match Sean, his second penalty was brilliantly saved by Sean to set up a great advantage with 3 flicks left. 

Sean's third flick was wonderfully saved by Clifford's keeper as he tipped the shot over the bar. Clifford responded with a neat equalizing penalty that saw the ball chipped over Sean's keeper. 2 All With the pressure now reverting back to Sean, he had to slot his fourth flick to maintain his advantage. However this was not to be as another great save by Clifford kept the ball out of the net.

Clifford now had the first opportunity to take the lead in the shoot-out. He did not waste the opportunity as he calmed chipped the keeper to take a 3-2 lead with only one remaining flick for each player.

With immense pressure on Sean to stay alive in the Final, his final flick was tipped by Clifford's keeper onto the cross-bar and roll away to safety. 3 - 2 penalty win for Clifford.

The above penalty shoot-out capped an awesome day of Subbuteo action, fun and great goals. Everybody was also treated to some great pizzas, snacks and a specially baked Subbuteo Cake featuring Subbuteo players on a muddy 'chocolate' field. A great way to end off the seaon by the Joburg Eagles.

Everbody associated with the Joburg Eagles wish one and all, a very Merry and Blessed Christmas, and may the true Christmas Spirit manifest itself to everyone as this dark year draws to a most welcome conclusion.

If travelling, please go carefully as we wish to see you all back and flicking in a Chinese Covid-free 2021!!!!!!

Merry Christmas/ Geseende Kersfees !!!!!!!!

(Report by Clifford Graaff)

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Giuseppe Tardiota wins again in Brisbane

The Brisbane club was meeting again on Sunday and the monthly tournament had six players competing for glory. It was another good day of play with many close games but in the end, Giuseppe tardiota managed to win another trophy. The good news is U15 player James Gillespie was back in action and probably the local group will see his brother Will playing as well next year.

James Gillespie

Giuseppe Tardiota

Final standings:

1. Giuseppe Tardiota
2. Kevin Halliday
3. Gus Gillespie
4. Gareth Whalley
5. Wayne Miller
6. James Gillespie.

Sunday 13 December 2020

South Africa: Tokai Christmas Cup

Mike rues another missed opportunity

Yesterday (Sat 12th Dec) saw only the second event in Cape Town in the strange year that is 2020. Straight from our ‘New Year tournament’ in January, to our Christmas Cup event 11 months later.

It was a small, informal gathering of 4 friends, but so nice to play a few games again! It was also great to welcome Dave back after a year or two of focusing on stadium building.

Mike v Dave 2-0, 2-0
John v Clinton 1-2, 1-1
Mike v John 0-1, 1-1
Clinton v Dave 3-2, 1-1
John v Dave 2-0, 1-0
Mike v Clinton 2-3, 1-1

Dave during the penalty shoot-out

3rd / 4th place play-off:
Mike v Dave 0-0, pens 3-2

John v Clinton 0-1

(Report by Clinton Gahwiler)

Monday 7 December 2020

Benji Batten wins the Christmas Cup

Benji Batten lifting the trophy
Things are almost back to normal in Australia where the club of Sydney TFC held the traditional "Christmas Cup" on Saturday with 12 players coming from different clubs of the city and Benji batten travelling from Melbourne to play some competitive games after a long break. Benji Batten was on fire as he won the tournament after convincing wins against Torben Pfister (4-0) and Jonty Brener (3-0) in the group stage, Kostas Barbaris in quarter-final (6-1), Fabrizio Coco in semi-final (2-1) and Tony Credentino in the final (2-0). Torben Pfister was the other semi-finalist of the tournament while Geoff Sirmai won the consolation tournament. It was nice also to see Boni Sg representing Brazil during the event. Boni is a new member of Sydney TFC and will hopefully attend more events in the future.

Some other results from Australia deserve a mention. In October, tournaments were organized by the clubs of Perth and Northern Falcons. In Perth, Singapore's Tan Yew Loy finished on top of a group of 7 to win the event. The final standings were as follows (all Subbuteo Perth players unless noted):

1. Tan Yew Loy
2. Alan Kimber
3. Brian Pearson
4. Ross McNulty
5. Hugh Best (Sports TFC of Western Australia)
6. Ron Byrne
7. Chris Thorn

At the Northern Falcons tournament, six players competed in two groups with semi-finals and a final. Fabrizio Coco (Sydney TFC) defeated clubmate Tony Credentino (2-0) in the final to win the title. Semi-finalists were Steve Dettre and Eliot Kennedy.

Thanks to the different clubs in Australia for the great work and for giving great games to their members. Hopefully more tournaments will be organized in Australia in the near future.